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Policy & Regulation

UK blackout highlights role of interconnectors

The recent outage has flagged the growing need for electricity imports when shortages occur, but it also raises broader questions about the future of gas-fired power in Northwest Europe The recent outage has flagged the growing need for electricity imports when shortages occur, but it also raises broader questions about the future of gas-fired power in Northwest Europe.
By Andreas Walstad 13 August 2019 Europe & Russia / Policy & Regulation 0 34481
Darkness at Clapham Junction station following the 9 August blackout in the UK. (PA)

Official data shows the UK increased electricity imports from the Netherlands, Belgium and – to a lesser extent – Ireland during the blackout it suffered on 9 August. The outage lasted less than one hour but affected almost 1 million customers and brought rail and air transport to a standstill in some places.

The blackout occurred after RWE’s 727 MW Little Barford gas-fired power plant and Ørsted’s 800 MW Hornsea offshore wind farm in the North Sea shut down almost...